How To Keep Dogs Comfortable This Winter

It may seem like it’s been here forever, but we only just officially entered the Winter months. Which means no matter your latitude, colder weather has come to your town and it may be necessary to keep some cold weather tips in mind for our four-legged friends. Winter brings the cold and damp and with it ice related maladies. Always be on the lookout for both hypothermia and frostbite in your dog and know the signs of each. In addition, keep the following basic guidelines in mind to keep your indoor dog comfortable this winter.

Cold Weather Tips for Your Dog’s Comfort

  • Limit your pets time outside in the cold months as appropriate by their breed and living arrangement. If you have an “outdoor dog” always provide shelter that is at least three inches off the ground and place some kind of insulation in the void under the doghouse like straw. Place additional straw and bedding inside the doghouse for the dog to nestle into. When it’s extremely cold, you should bring your dog inside.
  • If it’s too cold for you without a coat, then it’s too cold for your short-haired dog. A cute sweater is a fashionable solution to the situation.
  • Of course, there’s times just a practical puffy coat is the way to go.
  • Attend to your dog’s feet and skin. Paws sometimes bear the brunt of harsh winter conditions. The winter months prove to be drier in some parts of the country; creating the need to moisturize in general to prevent and/or alleviate dry skin issues. Snow and ice present their own issues. Furry pawed pups may find snow accumulates on the fur around their pads and irritates it. The snow and ice may also be laden with chemicals or salt, used as ice melt, that can cause the dog harm as they lick it off their feet.
  • Keep your dog safe from potential hazards around the house, like antifreeze and heaters. Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste for a dog with a deadly result. Space heaters, heating vents and fireplaces can all pose a risk should a cold dog get too close and singe or burn themselves.
  • Be sure Fido is well hydrated by keeping the water in his bowl fresh and clean.
  • Just as in the summer months, don’t leave your dog unattended in the car. While the summer concern is overheating; the winter concern is frostbite and hypothermia.
  • When out for a walk, keep your dog on a leash and make sure your dog is properly ID tagged and microchipped. Just in case he gets away or otherwise lost, the identification will ensure he gets back to you safely.
  • Groom your dog regularly. You should always bathe him inside and completely dry the dog afterward before going outside again. Be sure the undercoat is thoroughly dry as well as the top coat or your dog could get a chill.

The most important part of keeping your dog comfortable this winter is knowing your dog’s individual signals. Every dog is different and with observation, you will see your dog’s signals when he or she is cold. Factors that affect a dog’s individual threshold for the cold are age, fur type, fur length, breed, climate acclimation, and health. At home, give your dog easy, available access to and from the outdoors. An easy way to give your dog some dominion over how long they spend outside this winter is by installing a PlexiDor Dog Door. Contact their Customer Service at 888-PETDOOR for more information.